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Lesson 198

Only my condemnation injures me.

1. Injury is impossible. ²And yet illusion makes illusion. ³If you can condemn, you can be injured. ⁴For you have believed that you can injure, and the right you have established for yourself can be now used against you, till you lay it down as valueless, unwanted and unreal. ⁵Then does illusion cease to have effects, and those it seemed to have will be undone. ⁶Then are you free, for freedom is your gift, and you can now receive the gift you gave.

2. Condemn and you are made a prisoner. ²Forgive and you are freed. ³Such is the law that rules perception. ⁴It is not a law that knowledge understands, for freedom is a part of knowledge. ⁵To condemn is thus impossible in truth. ⁶What seems to be its influence and its effects have not occurred at all. ⁷Yet must we deal with them a while as if they had. ⁸Illusion makes illusion. ⁹Except one. ¹⁰Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest.

3. Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. ²All illusions save this one must multiply a thousandfold. ³But this is where illusions end. ⁴Forgiveness is the end of dreams, because it is a dream of waking. ⁵It is not itself the truth. ⁶Yet does it point to where the truth must be, and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself. ⁷It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are one.

4. Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death. ²How could there be another way, when this one is the plan of God Himself? ³And why would you oppose it, quarrel with it, seek to find a thousand ways in which it must be wrong; a thousand other possibilities?

5. Is it not wiser to be glad you hold the answer to your problems in your hand? ²Is it not more intelligent to thank the One Who gives salvation, and accept His gift with gratitude? ³And is it not a kindness to yourself to hear His Voice and learn the simple lessons He would teach, instead of trying to dismiss His words, and substitute your own in place of His?

6. His words will work. ²His words will save. ³His words contain all hope, all blessing and all joy that ever can be found upon this earth. ⁴His words are born in God, and come to you with Heaven’s love upon them. ⁵Those who hear His words have heard the song of Heaven. ⁶For these are the words in which all merge as one at last. ⁷And as this one will fade away, the Word of God will come to take its place, for it will be remembered then and loved.

7. This world has many seeming separate haunts where mercy has no meaning, and attack appears as justified. ²Yet all are one; a place where death is offered to God’s Son and to his Father. ³You may think They have accepted. ⁴But if you will look again upon the place where you beheld Their blood, you will perceive a miracle instead. ⁵How foolish to believe that They could die! ⁶How foolish to believe you can attack! ⁷How mad to think that you could be condemned, and that the holy Son of God can die!

8. The stillness of your Self remains unmoved, untouched by thoughts like these, and unaware of any condemnation which could need forgiveness. ²Dreams of any kind are strange and alien to the truth. ³And what but truth could have a Thought which builds a bridge to it that brings illusions to the other side?

9. Today we practice letting freedom come to make its home with you. ²The truth bestows these words upon your mind, that you may find the key to light and let the darkness end:

³Only my condemnation injures me.
⁴Only my own forgiveness sets me free.

⁵Do not forget today that there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought. ⁶Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.

10. Accept the one illusion which proclaims there is no condemnation in God’s Son, and Heaven is remembered instantly; the world forgotten, all its weird beliefs forgotten with it, as the face of Christ appears unveiled at last in this one dream. ²This is the gift the Holy Spirit holds for you from God your Father. ³Let today be celebrated both on earth and in your holy home as well. ⁴Be kind to Both, as you forgive the trespasses you thought Them guilty of, and see your innocence shining upon you from the face of Christ.

11. Now is there silence all around the world. ²Now is there stillness where before there was a frantic rush of thoughts that made no sense. ³Now is there tranquil light across the face of earth, made quiet in a dreamless sleep. ⁴And now the Word of God alone remains upon it. ⁵Only that can be perceived an instant longer. ⁶Then are symbols done, and everything you ever thought you made completely vanished from the mind that God forever knows to be His only Son.

12. There is no condemnation in him. ²He is perfect in his holiness. ³He needs no thoughts of mercy. ⁴Who could give him gifts when everything is his? ⁵And who could dream of offering forgiveness to the Son of Sinlessness Itself, so like to Him Whose Son he is, that to behold the Son is to perceive no more, and only know the Father? ⁶In this vision of the Son, so brief that not an instant stands between this single sight and timelessness itself, you see the vision of yourself, and then you disappear forever into God.

13. Today we come still nearer to the end of everything that yet would stand between this vision and our sight. ²And we are glad that we have come this far, and recognize that He Who brought us here will not forsake us now. ³For He would give to us the gift that God has given us through Him today. ⁴Now is the time for your deliverance. ⁵The time has come. ⁶The time has come today. (ACIM, W-198.1:1–13:6)

Posted in ACIM Lessons

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